New York adopts budget - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

3rd on-time budget in a row

New York adopts budget

Posted: Updated:
The Assembly Chamber at the Capitol, March 28, 2013, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) The Assembly Chamber at the Capitol, March 28, 2013, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

By MICHAEL GORMLEY | AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- With three days to spare, New York has adopted its third straight on-time budget.

That hasn't been done in 30 years, and lawmakers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders said it shows how well state government now functions. Further proof, they said, is that the $135 billion budget holds spending increases to less than 2 percent for the third consecutive time, without hikes in taxes or fees.

"New York is coming back," Cuomo said in a video message Friday. "New York is rising and we are building on our strengths."

He and legislative leaders called it a family-friendly, business-friendly, and middle-class-friendly budget. Although there are no new taxes, the budget is built on extending two temporary taxes that were due to expire -- an income tax surcharge on millionaires and a business tax on energy costs.

The Assembly late Thursday gave final legislative approval to the budget, and the Senate approved its bills early Wednesday. The budget was not due until Sunday, the start of the new fiscal year.

The streak of on-time budgets began after former Gov. David Paterson uncovered a new power for governors to impose their budget if the April 1 deadline is missed, leaving the Legislature with the politically untenable option of shutting down government.

Major elements include nearly $1 billion more for schools, about a 4-percent average increase, and $350 tax rebate checks that will be sent to most middle class families next year, shortly before Election Day. The minimum wage will rise to $9 over three years, and employers of teenagers in part-time jobs will get a taxpayer-paid subsidy to cover most of the increase.

Businesses will get additional tax breaks including one to encourage the hiring of recent veterans.

"We accomplished a lot of things we wanted to accomplish," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who had made raising the $7.25-an-hour minimum wage a priority for two years.

"This reflects an improved, more efficient process between the governor and the Legislature," state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Friday.

The budget includes some one-time revenue, including $7 billion in federal recovery aid following Superstorm Sandy. And that concerns DiNapoli, who said the budget also includes several new provisions that extend the state's reliance on public authority debt.

"New York's debt burden is among the highest in the nation, making the goals of meeting critical infrastructure needs while remaining within the state's debt caps more difficult," DiNapoli said.

The budget process was criticized for continuing Albany's tradition of closed-door negotiations among top leaders with little if any real role for rank-and-file lawmakers, who under a budget reform law were supposed to hash out spending agreements in public.

A stumble in negotiations included fixes needed to the state's new gun control law, passed in January, which has drawn some sharp criticism from upstate communities. The budget suspends the provision that would have outlawed any bullet magazines that carried more than seven bullets, because seven-bullet magazines aren't made. The standard is 10 bullets, but Cuomo sought to have the lowest magazine capacity in the nation.

There is no plan to set a new date for that provision because manufacturers don't plan to make them. So now the law requires gun owners to only carry seven bullets at a time, unless they are at an authorized shooting range or shooting competition.

The law was derided by Republican Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin as "the honor system."

"Do you think criminals are going to care about that?" he said. "I can practice defending my family with 10 rounds, but I can only defend my family with seven rounds?"

  • New York State NewsNew York State NewsMore>>

  • Metro-North safety practices faulted

    Metro-North safety practices faulted

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:07:45 GMT
    The Metro-North Railroad has sacrificed safety for on-time performance, according to a report released Wednesday by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority panel. The report echoes an assessment conducted this year by the Federal Railroad Administration, which investigated after a string of Metro-North accidents including a December 2013 derailment that killed four riders in the Bronx.
    The Metro-North Railroad has sacrificed safety for on-time performance, according to a report released Wednesday by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority panel. The report echoes an assessment conducted this year by the Federal Railroad Administration, which investigated after a string of Metro-North accidents including a December 2013 derailment that killed four riders in the Bronx.
  • Soldier who killed herself at Va. Army base was from Yonkers

    Soldier who killed herself at Va. Army base was from Yonkers

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-08-27 17:28:56 GMT

    The Army has identified the soldier who barricaded herself in a building at a Virginia base and then fatally shot herself in the head.  Fort Lee officials on Wednesday say it was 33-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Paula M. Walker of Yonkers

    The Army has identified the soldier who barricaded herself in a building at a Virginia base and then fatally shot herself in the head.  Fort Lee officials on Wednesday say it was 33-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Paula M. Walker of Yonkers

  • Beheaded goat found in Westchester

    Beheaded goat found in Westchester

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 4:37 PM EDT2014-08-26 20:37:42 GMT
    The carcasses of beheaded birds, goat, and other animals were found in bags dumped on the side of a road in Westchester County, the local SPCA said. The bags were found Monday at the intersection of Route 129 and Underhill Avenue in Yorktown.
    The carcasses of beheaded birds, goat, and other animals were found in bags dumped on the side of a road in Westchester County, the local SPCA said. The bags were found Monday at the intersection of Route 129 and Underhill Avenue in Yorktown.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices